“He has single-handedly pushed more understanding than probably anybody in our field,” Richard Alley, a geosciences professor at Pennsylvania State University, once told the alumni magazine Columbia College Today. “He is intellectually so huge in how the earth system works and what its history is that all of us are following Wally in some way or another.”Broecker was dyslexic and never typed or used a computer, and an evangelical Christian.
Dr. Broecker expressed skepticism that humanity would be able to wean itself from fossil fuels anytime soon, and backed proposals for devices such as a “scrubber” that would suck carbon dioxide out of the air so that it could be safely stored underground. Although such an invention seemed drawn from the pages of a science-fiction novel, drastic change was essential, he said.The articles leads off with a good picture of Broecker from 1972, working aboard a ship.
As Dr. Broecker put it, “The climate system is an angry beast, and we are poking it with sticks.”